The Polished Hoe: A Novel

Front Cover
Harper Collins, May 25, 2004 - Fiction - 480 pages
6 Reviews

When Mary-Mathilda, one of the most respected women of the island of Bimshire (also known as Barbados) calls the police to confess to a crime, the result is a shattering all-night vigil that brings together elements of the island's African past and the tragic legacy of colonialism in one epic sweep.

Set in the West Indies in the period following World War II, The Polished Hoe -- an Essence bestseller and a Washington Post Book World Most Worthy Book of 2003 -- unravels over the course of twenty-four hours but spans the collective experience of a society characterized by slavery.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
1
4 stars
4
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Phil-James - LibraryThing

Over the space of one night a woman gives her confession to the policeman she’s known from childhood. Slowly the history of the island sugarcane plantation, slavery and intertwined, incestuous, ambiguous relationships come to light. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Romonko - LibraryThing

Clarke's book is a difficult one to read and is certainly not for those looking for a quick escape with a happy ending. The action of the story takes place over a single night, but it covers years of ... Read full review

All 6 reviews »

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
15
Section 3
62
Section 4
79
Section 5
80
Section 6
199
Section 7
204
Section 8
208
Section 10
285
Section 11
288
Section 12
290
Section 13
294
Section 14
352
Section 15
368
Section 16
375
Copyright

Section 9
261

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Austin Clarke is a professor of literature and has taught at Yale, Brandeis, Williams, Duke, and the Universities of Texas and Indiana. He assisted in setting up a Black Studies program at Yale in 1968, after which he became the cultural attachÉ of the Embassy of Barbados in Washington, D.C. Culminating with the international success of The Polished Hoe, which won the Giller Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and the Trillium Prize, Austin Clarke's work since 1964 includes eleven novels, six short-story collections, and four memoirs. He lives in Toronto.

Bibliographic information